Which compression arch support is best?
Anyone who suffers from plantar fasciitis or foot pain related to fallen arches knows just how painful it can be to take even a single step. Compression arch supports can help alleviate this discomfort and make it easier to get through your daily routine without pain or tenderness.
Compression arch supports fit snugly enough around your arches to help improve blood flow through your foot. That helps reduce inflammation, swelling and pain to make it easier to stand and walk. If you’re looking for comfortable, adjustable compression arch supports, the VIVE Plantar Fasciitis Strap is the top choice.
What to know before you buy a compression arch support
Who needs compression arch support?
In most cases, people seek out compression arch support because they’re experiencing pain related to plantar fasciitis. This condition occurs when the tissue that spans the bottom of the foot, the plantar fascia, becomes inflamed and triggers pain in your heel. Compression arch support reduces inflammation by improving blood circulation in your foot.
You may also want to consider compression arch supports if you have flat feet or fallen arches. Because the foot doesn’t have an arch with a normal curve, it’s closer to the ground, which can cause you to overpronate. That means your foot rolls inward as you step forward, which can cause foot and ankle pain. Compression arch support won’t prevent overpronation, but it can help ease the pressure on your arches and reduce your pain.
Some people also choose to use compression arch supports if they’re suffering from general foot pain or workout or sports injury issues. If you’re dealing with foot pain, though, you should consult with a doctor to discuss your condition before using compression arch supports.
Types of compression arch support
You can typically choose from three main types of compression arch support.
- Band wraps are a flexible band that wraps around the arch of your foot. They’re easiest to wear under socks and with shoes, making them ideal for everyday use. However, they only offer compression to a small area, so they don’t work well for all foot issues.
- Adjustable band wraps are similar to band wraps, but Velcro allows you to adjust the amount of support they provide. They’re usually pretty thick, though, so they may not fit inside all shoes.
- Toeless socks work well beneath socks and shoes and provide compression to a large foot and ankle area. They don’t always breathe well, though, so they may make your feet sweat.
What to look for in a quality compression arch support
Most compression arch supports feature a stretchy material or blends of materials. Spandex, polyester, rayon, nylon, Lycra and even neoprene are popular options. However, polyester and neoprene blends are usually the least breathable so that they can make your feet sweat.
Given the stretchiness of the materials, compression arch supports usually require specialized care and cleaning. Always follow the manufacturer’s guidelines for the proper washing procedure because some should be hand washed and air-dried. You can throw other compression arch supports in your washing machine and dryer for easy cleaning.
Getting the fit right for compression arch supports is essential if they’re going to reduce your pain. They should fit snugly but not be so tight that they cut off your circulation. Most compression arch supports come in multiple sizes, though only certain brands offer men’s and women’s sizes. Most offer unisex sizing. Measure your foot carefully, and check out the manufacturer’s sizing chart to be sure you choose the correct size.
Some compression arch supports are only available in a single size. While they’re meant to be one-size-fits-all, they usually don’t work well for individuals with wide or swollen feet.
Compression arch supports typically don’t offer much in the way of color options. In most cases, you’ll find options in black, gray or nude. Some brands offer styles that are a bit more colorful, though, so you may be able to find a few options in shades like pink, green, blue or purple.
How much you can expect to spend on a compression arch support
You’ll usually spend $8-$40 on compression arch supports. The most affordable options, like band and toeless socks generally, range from $8-$12, while more durable arch supports typically cost $15-$25. The most high-end compression arch supports you can wear daily without breaking down generally range from $25-$40.
Compression arch support FAQ
What’s the difference between compression arch supports and orthopedic insoles with arch support?
A. They work in different ways to provide relief for foot pain. Compression arch supports use compression and moderate support to help alleviate pain. On the other hand, orthopedic insoles offer pain relief by providing contoured support to the foot. While you can use both to help improve your foot pain, it’s usually not recommended to wear them simultaneously because they can counteract each other’s benefits.
Can I find compression arch supports in different levels of compression?
A. Some compression arch supports do offer multiple levels of compression, but many don’t. Generally brands make a wide range of orthopedic devices and tools that provide multiple compression options.
What’s the best compression arch support to buy?
Top compression arch support
What you need to know: These straps come with three sets of gel pads that let you choose the amount of arch support that best fits your needs on any given day.
What you’ll love: They work well for plantar fasciitis, heel spurs, strains and sprains. They offer support for your arches when you’re physically active. They can also help alleviate pain by improving your foot’s alignment. The gel inserts provide top-notch comfort and support. They’re breathable and durable too.
What you should consider: The gel inserts can feel somewhat hard, but that helps them provide support without flattening.
Where to buy: Sold by Amazon
Top compression arch support for the money
What you need to know: These budget-friendly bands feature a comfortable, streamlined design that fits well in shoes, including high heels and ballet flats.
What you’ll love: They’re available in six sizes to make it easy to get the fit right. They offer blue and pink options in addition to the usual gray and nude. The fabric is extremely breathable to keep your feet from sweating and forming blisters. The affordable price allows for buying multiple pairs.
What you should consider: Some buyers feel the compression support is too tight, particularly if your feet are known to swell.
Where to buy: Sold by Amazon
Worth checking out
What you need to know: These comfortable socks not only provide arch support but also offer compression in the heel and ankle to reduce pain.
What you’ll love: They work well for foot pain associated with plantar fasciitis, arthritis, edema and injuries. The design features a lightweight foot brace and compression in the arch, heel and ankle. They’re flexible and thin so that you can wear them with insoles, splints and other orthotics.
What you should consider: Some buyers complain that the compression is so tight that the socks leave imprints on the feet that last for more than an hour.
Where to buy: Sold by Amazon
Sign up here to receive the BestReviews weekly newsletter for useful advice on new products and noteworthy deals.
Jennifer Blair writes for BestReviews. BestReviews has helped millions of consumers simplify their purchasing decisions, saving them time and money
Copyright 2021 BestReviews, a Nexstar company. All rights reserved.